Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Lighthouse of northwest florida (fka VCA )/ Rebekah / Roloff )

New Beginnings Girls Academy

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And, here is what appears to (currently) be the final NBGA entry on Hurrikayne's blog... Another interview:

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2006 NBGA Survivor's Story
Dec 29, 2008

What is the name of the facility you were in?

New Beginnings Girls Academy, it was located in Pace, FL.

What kind of a program did they operate?

It all revolved around one thing and that one thing was God. I didn't understand how they could get away with brainwashing girls and shoving religion down people's throats. It made no sense to me. The program, when I was there, was unfair & misleading. I'm sure, without a doubt, it has not changed. I looked up their website and saw pictures of the girls. Some girls I remembered from when I was there. I know they're unhappy. It's like being locked in a cage and having nowhere to run.

When were you there & how long did you stay?

I was there for 10 months in 2006. It was the longest & hardest 10 months of my life.

Whose idea was it for you to go to this facility?

My grandfather's, he was "friends" with Brother McNamara. He said he was a good Christian man. Obviously my grandfather didn't do his research. I came to my grandpa for advice because my mother had found out I had gotten on drugs. When I talked to my grandpa he automatically got up and went into the living room and grabbed his phone. The next day they asked me if I wanted to visit a place where I could get help. I said "I'll go check it out, but I'm not making any promises."

Were you included in the decision?

Not at all, when we arrived to "visit" it was a trap, the papers were already signed. My mother had gone behind my back. Bro. McNamara kept smiling like 'Hahaha I got you now', kind of thing. It made me extremely uncomfortable. When I went into the dorms, he made the girls get up and sing. They looked like sad robots. He was the only one in the room with a smile on his face.

When my grandparents took me in the office with Bro McNamara, I remember seeing a wall of pictures of the girls when they first arrived. We all looked like we really needed help but not this kind of help. This was robotic brainwash crap that I was completely against. I was all about freedom and being who you wanted to be, not being forced to be someone you're not.

How did you get there?

I was driven by my grandparents, who lied to me, and knew from the moment I got into the car with them that I was going to be away for a very long time. Everyone in my whole family knew, besides me.

What happened when you arrived? How did they process you into their program/facility?

Bro. McNamara basically put on a show in front of my grandparents and me. Showing off the girls singing abilities, quoting Bible verses, etcetera. When we got into his office my Grandma kissed my cheek and walked out the door. I had no idea what was going on. I freaked out, I tried to open the door but Bro. McNamara had already slammed it shut and said. "Welcome to New Beginnings."

He called a girl into the room, she was to be my "buddy". They basically are your little babysitters. When walking outside in line, we had to have our heads down & the "buddy's" had our arms locked so we couldn't run. I complained to a staff member that one of my "buddies" held my arm too tightly, she simply said, "Get over it".

Can you describe a typical day?

Wake up was around 5:30 a.m., you had to make your bed perfectly or that was 5 demerits. Ten demerits at the end of a week was a weeks worth of discipline. 'Discipline' was standing with your hands behind your back, nose on the wall. No looking away from the wall, you couldn't breathe wrong or you would just get more demerits.

I stayed on 'discipline' the whole time was there. I was a good 195 lbs. when I went into the program, I came out weighing 167 lbs. because they made us do painful exercises, instead of them doing the pain to us they made us do it to our selves. After doing morning chores, we had to stay in line and go through what they called dress check and they made sure our hair was pulled back perfectly, or that was a demerit, made sure we had slips under our skirts, etc... We had to remain in line with straight posture holding and reading our Bibles with our heads down at all times.

We went to breakfast then headed to school. Sometimes Bro. McNamara would grab girls to work in the yard for the day, most of the time it was only trusted girls. After school we had lunch, if the Macs were in the mood, they'd give speeches on how stupid we were and how we were such sinners it disgusted them.

After school we went into the dorms had a time where we said scriptures, there was a name for this my memory is just blurry. We'd sit, most of the time we would have to stand if we sounded "lazy". It wouldn’t be over until we said it to their liking.

Then we had showers, dinner, chapel, or we'd sing. I remember one time I didn't want to sing because I was light headed, being between all the girls, all the body heat, I wasn't allowed to sit, let alone not continue to sing. So, I forced myself and ended up passing out. They STILL made me get up and sing. After that we went back to the dorms and slept. I know I never slept, I couldn't. It made me sick to my stomach to know that this country allows such things to go on.

Can you describe some typical rules?

Hair had to be pulled into a clip 4 inches from the top of your head. If they didn't like it, that was like 2 demerits.

The waist of skirts had to be above or right at the belly button, which obviously isn’t comfortable for teens, especially me. It wasn’t because I was a "whore" or a "slut" as Mrs. McNamara called it. It was because to me it was not comfortable.

You were given limited toilet paper.

There was a 'new girl rule'. I was accused of looking and "communicating" with them constantly by the girls that were "trusted helpers". The staff and the Mac's called me a liar almost every day. It hurt so much, but I knew I had to get out of there and make a difference so I went along with it.

That was until he said something out of line to me one day in the cafeteria and I finally said, "F you". I was on discipline at the time; I sat down and refused to do anything. If he was going to sit there and humiliate me in front of everyone I just didn't care anymore. I wanted to die. He had a girl attack me, pulling my hair to get me up. I wasn't going to move. After he called another girls name I grabbed the girl that was pulling my hair and got my hair away from her, they wrestled me to the ground. I kept fighting back. The next thing I know I have one girl digging her knee in my back, 4 girls on my legs; one girl with her arm on my face. I tried with all my strength to move but I couldn't, I ran out of energy.

After that I was taken into the dorms and had to stay there. Later that night I walked into the shower area and sat in the shower stall turned the water on hot and wished to melt away. They tried to get me out but after an hour of me being in there they just left me alone.

To me, you didn't get to have an opinion and you weren't allowed to have a social life. You were made a ROBOT nothing else.

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday December 29, 2008, 9:17 pm
Tags: [add/edit tags]

Copyright © 2011, inc.


Reddit TroubledTeens:
It's now called New Beginnings Ministries. Brittany Campbell, head of the NBGA: Proactive Survivors of New Beginnings Girls Academy group on facebook has tracked the changes:

Rebekah Home for Girls -> New Beginnings Rebekah Academy -> New Beginnings Girls Academy -> New Beginnings Ministries (Girls, boys, and - according to their newsletter - mens homes.)

I found an article on Scam Informer:

New Beginnings Ministries New Beginnings Girls Academy, Rebekah Home for Girls. Abusive Treatment Facility, Survivors, Cult, La Russell, Missouri
11th of Dec, 2011 by User134007

New Beginnings Ministries (aka New Beginnings Girls Academy & Rebekah Home for Girls) is a total scam and fraud. At this very moment teenage girls and boys are being abused by these people. The parents of the students are being lied to and the students are being brain washed, it is pretty much a cult. (They have been operating since the 1970s under the Roloff Homes in Corpus Christie,Tx) There are very many people that have been affected in a bad way by their experience while attending this facility. I had the unfortunate opportunity of attending this "academy" for a year and it was complete Hell. There is no freedom whatsoever. Jesus, and the Bible and constantly shoved down your throat and you will be openly rebuked and called "wicked" and "evil" among many other names if you don't conform to their beliefs. The things I saw when I was there were completely horrible. Girls were force-fed, medical needs were not properly taken care of, the school was a total joke and we were made to feel like we were abandoned and worthless and worthless if we weren't 100% on board with their extreme religious antics and rules. They tell you your parents are evil and that you will go to Hell if you don't believe they way they do I experienced and saw many horrible things when I was there. One time, I recall when two pale skinned girls forced to get a tan because the administrators thought they were trying to be "gothic" and rebel because they didn't want to get a tan like the other girls. They were forced to sit in the sun for 6-8 hours a day with tanning oil all over them and fried in the sun. They got horrible burns and it caused extreme pain, and they were not allowed to tell their parents. All phone calls and mail going in and out of the school are very strictly monitored, if you say something to your parents that they do not like or say anything about the rules or going home they will cut off your phone call and tell your parents that you are lying or rebeling and haven't received the help you need yet, or make you re-write your letter your sending to your parents. Also if the parent sends a letter to their child that says something they don't like, the letter will be withheld from the child. The tuition and medical expenses are a complete fraud, and with as much as they have been charging over the years, it would probably make them millionaires. They tote the students around the country, making them sleep on church pews, hard floors, or sometimes on the bus, so the students can sing and testify about how "great" New Beginnings is so they can collect donations and get prospective students. Not to mention all the donations they receive monthly from different churches and supporters around the country. The food is terrible, they would normally get it for free or cheap from a local food bank and sometimes it would be expired or stored in unfitting conditions with rodents around. If you didn't eat everything they put on your plate you would be in major trouble and receive demerits. If you acquire more than 10 demerits in a week you will be put on 'discipline' which requires you to stand at the end of your bed or on a wall with your hands behind your back and nose touching at all times, only being allowed to sit down for 5 minutes every hour all day except for school, church and meals, where you are made to finish all of your food n 15 minutes (which is bland with no condiments or flavor because you are on discipline) and then go back and stand on your wall or bed. They also make you stay up an hour and half after everyone else has gone to bed with the more trusted girls watching you stand there with your nose on your bed, hands behind your back. Then being rudely awoken at 5:30am after very little sleep having to make your bed perfectly (or more demerits) and then go stand back on your bed, then you are allowed 15 minutes to get yourself completely ready to their standards (or more demerits) without using perfume, straighteners, or anything else they consider a "privilege" to have to get yourself ready with. (because you are on discipline) Demerits are very easy to get. You can get one for something as little as not facing forward in line, talking, not covering your mouth when you cough, not using the bathroom in your allotted 30 seconds, not getting out of the shower in your allotted six minutes, plus many many more things. They made us do manual labor, such as roofing, building, and cleaning up human sewage that had backed up all over their property and only being allowed a 10 minute shower. Very disgusting. There was work to do outside almost everyday and no matter if you were suffering in school, if they called you to work, you had to work. Several people that have gotten out now suffer with PTSD, anxiety, and many other physical and mental health issues that they should not have to suffer with as a result of attending this school. A lot of people that have attended schools like this are now anti-religious and don't want to step foot near a church ever again, they are very damaging. And the sad part is, there are schools operating like this all over the country, this is only one out of hundreds. They are not state regulated so there is no one to go out and check on the students to make sure that they are taken care of and being treated right. There are so many things I could say, it would take me a week to type it all up but I am writing this report mainly to inform parents to not send their child to New Beginnings Ministries in La Russell, Mo. We have a group of 120+ survivors that are fighting to have them shut down so teenagers can stop being abused. Please feel free to check out the links below, as two major News Sources have already ran articles on this abusive facility. If you are a survivor and would like to join our Facebook group, that link is below, also. I also encourage you to check out our blogspot site listed below, there is more information and first hand accounts of what life at New Beginnings is like. Thank you for taking the time to read this and my hope is to see this place shut down for good. As my fellow survivor friend said "A childhood memory should not be survival".

* ABC News article by Susan Donelson James: ... t6BMFbdLms
* Mother Jones article: ... omes-abuse
* Our blog:
* Facebook Group:


--- Quote from: "User134007" ---
* ABC News article by Susan Donelson James: ... t6BMFbdLms
* Mother Jones article: ... omes-abuse
* Our blog:
* Facebook Group:
--- End quote ---
The ABC News article by Susan Donaldson James (first link noted above) is also posted on fornits near the beginning of the following thread:

* Biblical Reform School Discipline: Tough Love or Abuse?


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